The “G” word for leaders – Gibberish
This is the seventh installment in the series I’m calling “Alphabet for Leaders.” Today it’s the letter “G.”
Have you listened to a leader saying the same thing over and over again? I have. I’ve been that person. If you’re a talkative leader, you’re producing gibberish. Don’t argue with me, just listen.
1. Rapid chatter like that of monkeys. (OUCH!)
2. Incomprehensible talk; nonsense
Why we talk too much?
Talking too much is a strategy to keep others from talking.
Talking too much indicates you’re self-absorbed or arrogant. After all, why should you have to listen to people who don’t know as much as you do? <sarcasm>
Talking too much may express fear. For example, doctors know that talkative patients are nervous.
You may talk too much because you are under the mistaken idea that talking equals power.
I talk too much when I feel strongly about a topic. Passion fuels my tongue. Furthermore, my mouth goes into overdrive if I’m trying to convince you to agree.
Two ways to kill gibberish.
Are you wondering if you’re a chattering monkey producing gibberish? If you have to wonder, you are. Those who don’t produce gibberish know they don’t, it’s obvious. It may surprise you to know that if you’re a chattering monkey those around you know. Here are two suggestions for killing gibberish.
The solution to gibberish is simple. Stop talking. It’s funny but there is a corollary between opened ears and closed mouths. Opening your ears frequently closes your mouth. Covey wisely says, “Seek first to understand then to be understood.”
In addition, kill gibberish by shifting your strategy. Realize that producing gibberish doesn’t convince or persuade. It irritates. Your most powerful persuasion tool isn’t your mouth it’s your ears. Making people feel understood through listening is foundational to persuasive influence.
Why do leaders talk too much? How can talkative leaders learn how to talk less?
Great post Dan.
As they say to generate a positive influence on someone, make sure to listen effectively. So open ears go perfect here. Building on our post, if a leader talks less , the people around are more inclined to listen with attention. Thats because they would know that words of wisdom are like jewels and that when a leader speaks, its time to sit up and listen. Of course, talk more and people begin to check out in a short while.
I am enjoying your alphabetical series! Keep them coming. Keeps me intrigued as to what word will be next day.
You are very kind to share encouraging words. Thank you.
In addition, great thought about the positive power of talking less is others listen more.
Excellent post Dan!
And it fit’s well with my most recent post about listening.
You should also check out Chris Bailey at http://www.baileyworkplay.com/
His recent post about listening to what isn’t said, inspired mine and he’s added to it by posting about listening to internal customers.
So what will “L” be? Listening maybe?
Thanks for stopping in. I appreciate it. And thanks for the link.
I haven’t thought far enough ahead to get to “L” 🙂
Eric blogs at: http://ericjacques.org/
I love the monkey picture!
Ben Franklin wrote about silence as a virtue: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
“[…] in conversation [knowledge] was obtain’d rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue […]”
Eminem said: “But nothin comes out when they move their lips; just a bunch of gibberish.” 🙂
Eventually, listening will become a habit and won’t require as much energy as it does in the beginning.
Thanks for leaving another great comment. I appreciate it.
Love the Eminem quote! I would never looked to him for a quote on gibberish!
Your website is really shaping up. I wish you success.
I like how you used arrogance – when you talk all the time this arrogance is the belief that you believe you can help others, and you have nothing left to learn.
NOT to be mistaking for confidence. Confidence is the belief that you can help others to learn and grow through your talent, and that you can still gain more knowledge.
By listening and stopping the gibberish – you allow yourself to learn and perhaps suspend knowledge. Allowing yourself to learn more and become a more valuable leader.
Thank you so much for stopping in and leaving a comment.
Love how you distinguish between arrogance and confidence. In my own life, I’m learning confidence means that I’m convinced I can learn it. Good stuff.
I also appreciate the idea of suspending knowledge so we can learn new things. It’s true, what we know (or think we know) often gets in the way of learning.
I enjoyed visiting your blog at http://create-learning.com/blog/
Great blog. Adds credibility to the reason we have TWO ears and only ONE mouth!
Spoken like a listener… 🙂
People who talk too much do not realise they talk too much ! And may even deny it. Providing subtle hints like ” So, what is it that you are saying” usually hijacks their word-flow and forces them to provide a summary…After a couple of instance, perhaps these can be quoted to help them ( by peers or managers only) to realise they were drooling on and on…
Other G words
Gamble – A leader should be able to do some gambling and take a risk to bring up promising people – give stretch-goals or roles, when there is no guarantee for successful completion other than gut feeling
Give – Give more to the team, make the team look up to the leader to learn something
I was told that to learn I needed to “Take to cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth.” Talking rarely produces new information, I need to listen to see how others see the situation as I am already aware how I see it. Additionally, acronyms those shortcuts we use in all workplaces place anyone new or a customer as a stranger in a strange land. Can you imagine talking with an electrical supplier and using those terms that are used in medicine. Not only do I need to modulate what I say but how I say it. Just thinking.
Explaining ‘gibberish’ depicting monkey’s picture is excellent. Leaders do talk more but always sensible if one understands the motive behind it.
They try to reinstate the basic faith and trust in believing them and follow the chartered path of success. They usually would not miss a single opportunity of reimposing confidence in the followers to continue working hard with zeal and achieve the planned goal within a stipulated time frame.
Repetitive talks are essential for encouragement yet lengthy talks need to be avoided. People otherwise feel bored and start loosing the respect of leaders. Successful leaders do not care for what masses would feel. They focus on the few who believe in organization interest and get moved by their speeches.
We can’t say that leaders do gibbering. They actually are movers and shakers and they need to talk sensibly to influence others.
Gumption…sorry had to go back to what else leaders need with the letter ‘G’. Not enough gumption round these parts! Great word!
Having the gumption to point out that there is too much gibberish going round.
Also reminds me of the Gary Larson cartoon…It shows a man talking to his dog.
“What we say to dogs: ‘I’ve told you before, Ginger, stay out of the trash! Do you hear me, Ginger?'”
“What dogs hear: ‘Blah blah blah, Ginger. Blah blah blah blah, Ginger?'”
That would be a 70% gibberish factor for Ginger, is that accurate for leadership too?
“I talk too much when I feel strongly about a topic. Passion fuels my tongue. Furthermore, my mouth goes into overdrive if I’m trying to convince you to agree.”
Have the same problem 🙂
This post reminded me of the time when when I was involved in network marketing a few years ago. Mostly, I was a great listener and often even cold prospects told me their whole life history and their most secretly held dreams. But whenever I talked too much in front of a prospect or a customer or a downline, I invariably found that the meeting wasn’t so successful. I had either overwhelmed the other person, or had revealed my anxiety, or appeared too “smooth”.
The more I talked the less successful the meeting was. The more I listened and let the other person talk, the better it went.
And I also felt deeply unsatisfied after every such meeting where I had talked too much. Because I knew inside that I had squandered the opportunity to build trust and connection and “oversold” myself.
After reading your post I found that I have still been doing this sometimes with my clients in my fitness biz. A timely reminder this post has been.
Another thing I have noticed that when you listen to someone sincerely, they will feel a sense of obligation towards you because you have just paid them a great compliment by listening to them (we know how rare genuine listening is). This is great. But its a double-edged sword, because if you are a leader (or a person seeking to influence), and YOU end up talking too much and the person you seek to influence ends up being a sincere listener, then you will feel obligated to the him/her and it might affect your decisions regarding him/her.
Reverse the situation and it is absolutely great for a leader because it will make the person more receptive to your influence 🙂
I think this is invaluable for leaders. And people in sales, which in a way, we all are, aren’t we? 😉
Great post Mr. Rockwell, you rock 😉
A true eye-opener post for those who believe in talking to become a leader. I have discussed and debated on the topic with many people and personally I have experienced analyzed about the people who talk that- They talk too much to shield themselves from being exposed, they have words and no contents, they have shallow knowledge of everything and deep knowledge of nothing. These people are often less trustworthy because words are their weapon and they can swing in any direction to shield themselves. The other and probably interesting findings is that to expose them, just ask them direct question and ask them to reply in one and two line. I am sure, they will shatter. The other quality of these people is that they often blame others to make their path clear. Talkative leader can learn how to talk less only through self realization or repeated defeat.
The “G” of leadership is guardian, guide and guts. Leader should act as a guardian and guide people. He should have guts to take risks and decisions to achieve goal.